Jean Giono’s beautiful allegorical tale is legendary. Written in the 1950’s, its message was ahead of its time, inspiring readers to rediscoverthe harmonies of the countryside and prevent its willful destruction. The narrator, journeying by foot across the barren plains of the lower Alps, has his thirst assuaged by the well water drawn by the shepherd Elzeaerd Bouffier. Here begins the subtle parable which Giono weaves of the life-giving shepherd who chooses to live alone and carry out the work of God. Over forty years the desolate hills and lifeless villages which sooppressed the traveler are transformed by the dedication of one man. All with the help of a few acorns. Giono’s hope was to set in motion a worldwide reforestation program that would rejuvenate the earth. “The Man Who Planted Trees” is a hymn to creation and a purveyor of confidence in man’s ability to change his-indeed the world’s-lot.
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